Alternative to the laryngeal theory

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FlatAssembler

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Alternative to the laryngeal theory
« on: May 18, 2017, 11:22:59 PM »
(I will try to explain my ideas without presupposing that a reader has a lot of knowledge of the Indo-European linguistics, regardless of how long it would take to explain them.)
As anyone who is even remotely familiar with Indo-European linguistics knows, it’s relatively easy to reconstruct the consonants in the proto-language. The same, however, isn’t even remotely true for the vowels. To understand the problem, consider this: let’s try to reconstruct the Proto-Indo-European word for three. I happen to know its pronunciation in three distantly related Indo-European languages: Latin tres, English three and Serbo-Croatian tri. The first phoneme was quite obviously *t, English th is easily explainable via the Grimm’s law. The same goes for the second phoneme, it was *r. Now, the third phoneme is a bit trickier, but nevertheless remains deducible. Latin word suggests the phoneme *e, and English i sound is a result of the Great Vowel Shift, therefore it also suggests an original *e sound. However, Serbo-Croatian clearly suggests there to have been an *i sound. There is no rule that would make an e sound in other Indo-European languages correspond to an i sound in Serbo-Croatian, Serbo-Croatian words for six and seven are šest and sedam, not **šist and **sidam. However, here is a clue, the Ancient Greek word is treys. Now it makes sense. It was a diphthong! Loss of the final s in Croatian is easily explainable, in Proto-Slavic there was a so-called Open Syllable Law, and no syllable could end in a consonant. Syllable-final consonants either became initial (the liquid consonants r and l) or were elided. That’s why no native Serbo-Croatian word ends with an s. The English word can probably be explained in a similar manner, so that the original Proto-Indo-European word was *treys. Can we reconstruct the Proto-Indo-European word for two? Well, not that easily. So, the English word is two, the Latin word is duo and the Serbo-Croatian word is dva. So, the first phoneme was *d. English t can be explained as a simple application of the Grimm’s law. The second phoneme was *w. Serbo-Croatian v and Latin u are both its allophones. But let’s try to deduce what the third phoneme was. The English u sound comes from, via the Great Vowel Shift, from the *o sound. Latin also points to the original *o sound. So does the Ancient Greek. But how to explain the Serbo-Croatian a sound? It’s not like Latin o corresponds to Serbo-Croatian a,  Latin word for eight is octo, and Serbo-Croatian word for eight is osam and not **asam. It’s as if there had originally been two words for two: *dwo and *dwa. Most of the linguists agree with that notion, and believe that change of the vowels, called ablaut, was the main way to derive new words in Proto-Indo-European. Its traces are visible in modern Indo-European languages. For instance, many English irregular verbs have their forms formed by change of the vowel, for instance: sing-sang-sung. There are languages today that have this feature as the main way to derive new words, for instance, the Semitic languages (that are not Indo-European, and are probably not related to Indo-European languages at all). However, there would appear to have had been many types of ablaut in Proto-Indo-European, way more than in those languages. So, it’s been hypothesized that there had been some phonemes in Proto-Indo-European that colored the vowels (much like the r colors them in modern English, a is pronounced significantly differently in fat than in far). So, the hypothesized phoneme that colored e to a, but did nothing to other vowels is noted as *h2. So, the Proto-Indo-European word for two is then reconstructed as *dwoh2. So, only one type of ablaut is hypothesized to exist, the alternation between o, e and no vowel. If an ablaut occurs that turns *dwoh2 into *dweh2, the word would, in modern languages, be rendered as if it had been pronounced *dwa. This bears a lot of explanatory power. But how were those sounds pronounced? Most of the linguists believe they were h-like sounds, and the theory about them is called the Laryngeal Theory. This is where I don’t agree with the mainstream linguistics any more. I think that those sounds were, in fact, semi-vowels (sounds like the consonantal y and w). I believe that, for instance, the often reconstructed cluster *eh2 was, in fact, a diphtong, usually pronounced like i in ride. To understand why, consider this example: the Proto-Indo-European word for mother is reconstructed as *meh2ter. The Latin word was pronounced mater, the Greek word was pronounced meter, and the Sanskrit word was pronounced mitar. The a in the Latin word mater  is explainable the same way the e can be explained in tres, the same goes for the Sanskrit mitar, and the Greek word is explained via the analog monothongization as ae (pronounced like i in ride) in Classical Latin turned to e in the Romance Languages. Or consider the Indo-European word for beech, *bheh2gjos. The Latin word from it is fagus (bh turns to f in Latin), the English word from it is book (Old Germanic people used to write on the beech wood, beech comes from umlaut of book + the ending e that caused the palatalization), and the Serbo-Croatian word is bukva. The simple truth is, by regular sound changes, the English word would be **bak (Grimm’s law) and the Serbo-Croatian word would be **boz (satemization, *eh2 almost always turns to o in Serbo-Croatian). But let’s suppose *eh2 was here pronounced like ow in bow. So, that the Proto-Indo-European word for beech was *bhaugos. The mystery solved! au easily turns both to a, to u and to o (as it did in Late Latin). There are reasons to think that h2e gave ay in Illirian. Namely, it’s said by Pseudo-Scylax that Aenona (the ancient name for the Croatian city of Nin) comes from the Illyrian word for rocks, Aemonoi. That’s almost certainly from *h2ekjmon (like English hammer). Now, let’s analyze the arguments purported for the Laryngeal Theory. I’ll ignore the arguments from the purported loanwords, or, even worse, cognates to Indo-European from Proto-Semitic, because they are almost always based on a single phoneme in the supposedly related words. The strongest argument put forward is that the Hittite word for in front of (like Latin ante) has been transliterated as hanti. Now, Hittite was written in a syllabic script. So, how do we know that the first glyph represented ha? Because of the Hittite transcriptions of the Akkadian words. Now, in my dialect of Serbo-Croatian, there are no h-like sounds. And, in the loanwords, the h-sound gets replaced by a semivowel (either y or w). I see no reason to think that Hittite was any different.
I am not a linguist, but I think I know enough linguistics to make some conclusions by myself. If I am not right, then I am just wrong, not, as some say, not even wrong.
I would like to discuss my theories with other free-thinkers. If you think you can redirect me on some more suitable forum for such things, please do that.
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Twerp

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Re: Alternative to the laryngeal theory
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2017, 11:55:33 PM »
Seems reasonable.

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FalseProphet

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Re: Alternative to the laryngeal theory
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2017, 12:06:57 AM »
I have 3 objections against your ideas:

1. The diphthongs w and y are reconstructed for the Proto Indoeuropean language. Why do they behave and develop differently than the diphthongs you substitute for the traditionally supposed so called "laryngeals"?

2.We need 3 laryngeals to explain Indoeuropean vocalism. So you also need 3 different semi-vowels instead of two.

3.As you mentioned, Hittite preserved at least one "laryngeal" (actually thought to be a guttural fricative), as does the closely related Luwian, at lest in some positions, and it occurs in many words and names. We are quite sure that it was really a guttural fricative, as testified not only by Akkadian, Hurrian, Ugaritic and Egyptian loanwords and names in the Anatolian languages, but also by the presentation of Anatolian words and names in Akkadian, Hurrian, Ugaritic and Egyptian. The latter at least directly disproves your proposal.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2017, 06:28:18 AM by FalseProphet »

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FlatAssembler

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Re: Alternative to the laryngeal theory
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2017, 04:40:31 AM »
Quote
The diphthongs w and y are reconstructed for the Proto Indoeuropean language. Why do they behave and develop differently than the diphthongs you substitute for the traditionally supposed so called "laryngeals"?
The diphthong *ay isn't reconstructed for the PIE, neither is the vowel *a (except in, you know, *way, *stawros, and similar words which are said not to be in line with the PIE phonotactics…). You are probably thinking of the word *ayes, for bronze. In the laryngeal theory, it's, in fact, reconstructed to have been earlier pronounced *h2eyes.
Quote
We need 3 laryngeals to explain Indoeuropean vacalism. So you also need 3 different semi-vowels instead of two.
Not at all. *h1 was reconstructed not to color vowels at all, it was reconstructed just based on the assumption that a PIE root couldn't end or start with a vowel. Plus some inconsistent evidence in form of the initial h-es in Albanian (which is most easily explained as an areal feature, since unexpected initial h-es are also present in many words in Ancient Greek).
Quote
As you mentioned, Hittite preserved at least one "laryngeal" (actually thought to be a guttural fricative), as does the closely related Luwian, at lest in some positions, and it occurs in many words and names. We are quite sure that it was really a guttural fricative, as testified not only by Akkadian, Hurrian, Ugaritic and Egyptian loanwords and names in the Anatolian languages, but also by the presentation of Anatolian words and names in Akkadian, Hurrian, Ugaritic and Egyptian. The latter at least directly disproves your proposal.
Now, the name Hittite occurs in many ancient languages. However, it doesn't come from the Hittite language. Hittites called themselves Neshili. So, this is much like the names Hungary or Finland are today.
Also, the cuneiform doesn't appear to have changed the spellings of loanwords to adapt to the language's phonology. The Sumerian words in Hittite texts were spelled exactly the same as they were spelled in Sumerian, even though the pronunciation was doubtlessly very different.
Is there any actual Hittite word with an h in the Egyptian? I must admit I didn't study it in great detail.
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FalseProphet

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Re: Alternative to the laryngeal theory
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2017, 05:58:39 AM »
1. a is reconstructed for PIE, but it is remarkably rare. That's one reason why I do not think that we definitely understand PIE phonology. I'm not sure if ay and aw are convincingly reconstructed and I am too lazy to look it up. It is quite irrelevant though, for what is with ey, ew etc.? So again, why do the PIE semi-vowels behave differently than the PIE laryngeals when the PIE laryngeals were really semi-vowels? Were they somehow different semi-vowels than the known ones, and if so, how did they sound? Which semi-vowel is likely to turn an e into an a?

2. That's true, h1 does not colour the e, but it lengthens it in a position like eh1. The evidence for its existence is weaker than the evidence for h2 and h3, but stronger than you claim. But if you dive into it and find good arguments that it did not exist I am open for that.

3.Yes, the Hittites called their language neshili. What does that have to do with anything? My argument was, why do Akkadians, Ugaritians, Hurrians and Egyptians spell Hittite words and names with ḫ rather than w or y, when the sound conventionally written as ḫ was in reality a w or y?

An actual Hittite name written in Egyptian hieroglyphs would be, for example, Hattusili. If you want you could try to find the hieroglyphic original of the peace treaty between him and Rameses to see how it was spelled. I can read Hieroglyphic, so I could tell you, how it was pronounced (as far as our insufficient knowledge of Egyptian phonology allows it, of course).

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Pezevenk

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Re: Alternative to the laryngeal theory
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2017, 06:15:25 AM »
I love these huge threads that nobody except of 2 people here understand.
It is not a scientific fact, it is a scientific fuck!
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FlatAssembler

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Re: Alternative to the laryngeal theory
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2017, 08:17:06 AM »
Quote
Which semi-vowel is likely to turn an e into an a?
Well, German eu turns to oy and ey turns to ahy.

But, I'll surrender. I didn't even believe the theses I represented. I just wanted to see if they can be supported on an Internet forum. Apparently, it's very hard to do that.
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FalseProphet

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Re: Alternative to the laryngeal theory
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2017, 08:39:49 AM »
I didn't even believe the theses I represented. I just wanted to see if they can be supported on an Internet forum.

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wise

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Re: Alternative to the laryngeal theory
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2017, 09:15:31 AM »
Indo-European linguistics is an hoax. Where is India and where is Europe. Look at the map first. Europe is in the center and India is in the edge. There is Asia between them. There is more similarity between Turkish, Chinese and European languages. There is no relevant. There is more similarity between European and other languages.

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Pezevenk

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Re: Alternative to the laryngeal theory
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2017, 10:10:10 AM »
Indo-European linguistics is an hoax. Where is India and where is Europe. Look at the map first. Europe is in the center and India is in the edge. There is Asia between them. There is more similarity between Turkish, Chinese and European languages. There is no relevant. There is more similarity between European and other languages.

I thought the maps were a hoax as well.
It is not a scientific fact, it is a scientific fuck!
-Intikam

Who wants to be a firefly and who wants to be a blue whale?
-Sceptimatic

Please do not jizz to win an argument.
-Crutonius

Read a bit psicology and stick your imo to where it comes from.
-Inty (again)

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FlatAssembler

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Re: Alternative to the laryngeal theory
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2017, 10:32:06 AM »
Indo-European linguistics is an hoax. Where is India and where is Europe. Look at the map first. Europe is in the center and India is in the edge. There is Asia between them. There is more similarity between Turkish, Chinese and European languages. There is no relevant. There is more similarity between European and other languages.
I think you may be a troll, but I am going to respond anyway.
Compare the names for the numbers one to ten! Both Semitic and Indo-European languages fortunately have them and they are the most stable words in a language. Imagine yourself counting. "One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten." Does it seem likely to you that someone would start to count "One, two, three, four, six, five, seven, eight, nine, ten" and that that would be accepted by other speakers?
If you compare the names for the numbers in different languages, you won't be able to deny that they are or aren't related.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_numbers_in_various_languages
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FalseProphet

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Re: Alternative to the laryngeal theory
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2017, 10:46:04 AM »
I think you may be a troll, but I am going to respond anyway...

What ever you say...he can counter it

https://www.theflatearthsociety.org/forum/index.php?topic=70598.0

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FlatAssembler

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Re: Alternative to the laryngeal theory
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2017, 11:08:31 AM »
I think you may be a troll, but I am going to respond anyway...

What ever you say...he can counter it

https://www.theflatearthsociety.org/forum/index.php?topic=70598.0
Well, what can you do? Attempts to reconstruct Proto-Human language are way more exciting than an attempt to reconstruct, let's say, Proto-Indo-European or Proto-Semitic language. And sometimes you need to know quite a lot of linguistics to understand why they are pseudoscience (see the Nostratic hypothesis, it appears very scientific until you try to analyze it deeper).
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FlatAssembler

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Re: Alternative to the laryngeal theory
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2017, 12:24:24 PM »
I am not sure if even I can differentiate between linguistics and pseudo-linguistics. I am having trouble believing that PIE had complex declension. I  "know" three distant Indo-European languages, Latin, English and Serbo-Croatian. English has no declension at all. Now, Latin and Serbo-Croatian both have relatively large number of cases, Latin has 6 and Serbo-Croatian has 7. However, if they really come from PIE, we would expect there to be similar endings. But they are not similar at all. Let's compare the Latin a-declension and Serbo-Croatian e-declension (I hope they are ones that are supposed to be cognate!)
Latin:
Singular
N femin-a
G femin-ae
D femin-ae
A femin-am
V femin-a
Ab femin-a
Plural
N femin-ae
G femin-arum
D femin-is
A femin-as
V femin-ae
Ab femin-is
Serbo-Croatian:
Singular
N žen-a
G žen-e
D žen-i
A žen-u
V žen-o
L žen-i
In žen-om
Plural
N žen-e
G žen-a
D žen-ama
A žen-e
V žen-e
L žen-ama
In žen-ama
How many matches do we get? Nominative singular are the same, that's the zeroth (It statistically doesn't make sense to count it, right?). Genitive singular and nominative plural are the same in both the Latin and Serbo-Croatian declension, that's the first one. Nominative plural and vocative plural are the same in both languages, that's the second one. What else is similar? If you are being generous, you might notice that Latin -am gives Serbo-Croatian -u by regular sound changes (-am -> -an -> nasal a -> u). That's the third similarity. But how many similarities we may expect by mere statistical coincidence. The obvious fact is, most of the endings in Serbo-Croatian are one of the five vowels, so we should expect 1/5=20% match. Since there are 7*2=14 endings, we should expect 14/5=2.8 similarities.
There are apparently no more similarities than it is to be expected by pure chance. And the same goes if you, for instance, compare Serbo-Croatian a-declension and Latin o-declension or Serbo-Croatian i-declension and Latin i-declension (Serbo-Croatian has three declensions).
Shouldn't we conclude from that that PIE didn't have a declension system, and that the complex declensions in Serbo-Croatian and Latin are simply an areal feature? What's wrong with that?
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FalseProphet

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Re: Alternative to the laryngeal theory
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2017, 01:36:32 PM »
If you are really interested in linguistics, you should a least get some basic knowledge how language comparison works.

You cannot just compare how similar the endings look, because they are the result of historical changes that can obscure actual relationships beyond recognition. The important thing is that these changes are to an astonishingly high degree regular and thus detectable.

If you want to reconstruct a proto-language you will compare the oldest recorded stage of its daughter languages. You will not take modern day English and Serbocroatian, but Old High German, Old Norse, Gothic, Old Church Slavonic.

In fact though, modern day Slavic languages have retained PIE declension much better than languages like English or Hindi. Although the endings have changed, the system is still there (7 of the originally 8 cases), while it has broken down in most other modern descendants.

Even in Old Church Slavonic though the endings are already very different from the PIE ones and the relationship is not easy to figure out. PIE nominal grammar is best preserved in Sanskrit, Old Persian, Ancient Greek (though reduced to 4 cases), Latin (especially in the archaic language of the oldest inscriptions, less so in Classical Latin) and Continental Celtic. So the Indo-European declension system is obviously not an areal feature.

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FlatAssembler

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Re: Alternative to the laryngeal theory
« Reply #15 on: May 20, 2017, 04:23:31 AM »
I think we didn't understand each other. You know a bit of German, right? It happens to have a bit of a conjugation system. The German conjugation for present is -e -st -t -en -t -en. The corresponding Latin conjugation is -o -s -t -mus -tis -nt. So, the Latin -t should correspond to German -t, and the Latin -nt should correspond to German -en. And that's not the case outside of the grammatical endings. Latin -nt usually corresponds to German -nd: vent+us-Wind, cent+um-hund+ert, ant+e-und, find+en-pont+em, sunt-sind… Latin t usually corresponds to German d: tres-drei, teg+o-deck+en, ten+u+is-dünn… In the grammatical endings, regular sound-changes are either nonexistent or are distinctly wobbly. Could it be because PIE didn't actually have complicated grammar? Could it be that the deeper you go in time the grammar gets simpler instead of more complicated?
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FalseProphet

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Re: Alternative to the laryngeal theory
« Reply #16 on: May 20, 2017, 06:52:25 AM »
I think we didn't understand each other.

I can only understand what you articulate.

You know a bit of German, right?

Ja, ich kann Deutsch.

It happens to have a bit of a conjugation system. The German conjugation for present is -e -st -t -en -t -en. The corresponding Latin conjugation is -o -s -t -mus -tis -nt. So, the Latin -t should correspond to German -t, and the Latin -nt should correspond to German -en. And that's not the case outside of the grammatical endings. Latin -nt usually corresponds to German -nd: vent+us-Wind, cent+um-hund+ert, ant+e-und, find+en-pont+em, sunt-sind… Latin t usually corresponds to German d: tres-drei, teg+o-deck+en, ten+u+is-dünn… In the grammatical endings, regular sound-changes are either nonexistent or are distinctly wobbly. Could it be because PIE didn't actually have complicated grammar? Could it be that the deeper you go in time the grammar gets simpler instead of more complicated?

No, the more deeper you go in time the more richer becomes the conjugation system. PIE had a very elaborate grammar.

Regarding the German verbal personal endings, as I said it is better to go back to Old High German. The endings were:

SG  1. -u  2. -is(t)  3. -it    PL  1. -emes  2. -et  3. -ent

Compared to Latin:

SG  1. -o  2. -s  3. -t   PL  1. -mus  2. -tis  3. -nt

Compared to PIE (thematic verbs)

SG  1. -o  2. -s  3. -t   PL  1. -me(s)  2. -te(s)  3. -ent

So the relationship is quite obvious.

But yes, why do the German endings of the 3rd P sg and pl not follow the expected sound shift t>d? That is a good question and I frankly do not know for sure. But it certainly does not mean that the endings are unrelated or that they did not exist in PIE.

You know Grimm's Law. It led to the shift

t>ţ

This is the situation still retained in Gothic, were the 3rd P sg for example is -iţ. This is what we would expect. Or take Early Modern English as in the King james Bible

"He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me."

In High German a second sound shift led to the development

ţ>d

But instead of d we have t. So the irregularity seems to be only in German, not in the Germanic languages as a whole.

I suppose it has something to do with a phenomenon called "Final-obstruent devoicing" occuring in German. It should also be mentioned that the second German sound shift was not as regular as the first one.

But you are right that sound shifts in grammatical endings do not always follow the same laws as sound shifts in roots.

For example the Middle English 3rd P sg -eth has turned into -s in Modern English, although there is no common rule th>s.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2017, 10:40:08 AM by FalseProphet »

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FlatAssembler

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Re: Alternative to the laryngeal theory
« Reply #17 on: May 21, 2017, 08:32:26 AM »
I don't know now. To me it seems like any language that has a conjugation system would have similar endings to that degree. The corresponding Finnish conjugation, for example, is: -n, -t, -e, -me -te, -ät.
I don't think that German -t endings can be explained by final consonant devoicing. If they could, then the perfect tense couldn't be formed with the ending -ed, but with -et.
And if the grammar gets more complicated the deeper you go in the past, how it is that pidgins and creoles have such simple grammars that become more and more complicated over time?
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FalseProphet

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Re: Alternative to the laryngeal theory
« Reply #18 on: May 21, 2017, 09:21:25 AM »
I don't know now. To me it seems like any language that has a conjugation system would have similar endings to that degree.

No.

The corresponding Finnish conjugation, for example, is: -n, -t, -e, -me -te, -ät.

So?

I don't think that German -t endings can be explained by final consonant devoicing. If they could, then the perfect tense couldn't be formed with the ending -ed, but with -et.

No, the Old High German preteritum is not formed with an morphem -ed, but with -it- (weak verbs). But it is followed by personal endings, it is not at the end of the word. And in case you mean the German perfect participle, it is not formed by an ending -ed either, but -an or -t.

And if the grammar gets more complicated the deeper you go in the past, how it is that pidgins and creoles have such simple grammars that become more and more complicated over time?

Listen: We know the grammars of many ancient Indo-European languages. They are all quite complicated and resemble each other to an extant, that it is very very very very very unlikely that they all developed these specific features independently. So they must have inherited them from their common mother language. If you would know more abut IE languages, it would be obvious to you.

Typically in the course of history, these grammars became simpler, but there is no rule that this has to be so. It is just what we observe and it is not always the case.

I understand that as a "free thinker" you like to figure out things by yourself instead of learning what other people have found out. But, for example, if you want to repair your car by yourself, wouldn't it be helpful to know what a combustion engine is?
« Last Edit: May 21, 2017, 10:43:55 AM by FalseProphet »

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Crouton

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Re: Alternative to the laryngeal theory
« Reply #19 on: May 21, 2017, 09:33:10 AM »
This is an interesting thread. False prophet, you should consider an ama thread here. Even though I don't know how interested most of the people here are in linguistics.
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FalseProphet

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Re: Alternative to the laryngeal theory
« Reply #20 on: May 21, 2017, 09:47:54 AM »
you should consider an ama thread here

What is an ama thread?

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Space Cowgirl

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Re: Alternative to the laryngeal theory
« Reply #21 on: May 21, 2017, 10:35:59 AM »
you should consider an ama thread here

What is an ama thread?

It means "ask me anything". For instance you would say "I am a linguist AMA". Then the questions asked of you should be regarding language.

I really enjoy reading your replies in this thread, but I wouldn't know what to ask in an AMA. I don't know enough about language.
I'm sorry. Am I to understand that when you have a boner you like to imagine punching the shit out of Tom Bishop? That's disgusting.

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FalseProphet

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Re: Alternative to the laryngeal theory
« Reply #22 on: May 21, 2017, 10:59:45 AM »
you should consider an ama thread here

What is an ama thread?

It means "ask me anything". For instance you would say "I am a linguist AMA". Then the questions asked of you should be regarding language.


I'm a lousy linguist and this is actually not my field.  :-\

But I could make a thread "Ask me anything about obscure Indonesian jungle languages you've never heard about."

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Space Cowgirl

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Re: Alternative to the laryngeal theory
« Reply #23 on: May 21, 2017, 11:04:27 AM »
That would probably be very interesting. I would be interested in their stories, too. Do you know them?
I'm sorry. Am I to understand that when you have a boner you like to imagine punching the shit out of Tom Bishop? That's disgusting.

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FalseProphet

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Re: Alternative to the laryngeal theory
« Reply #24 on: May 21, 2017, 11:13:02 AM »
That would probably be very interesting. I would be interested in their stories, too. Do you know them?

Yes, that is my work. Collecting and recording the stories, myths and songs of indigenous peoples in Indonesia.

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Space Cowgirl

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Re: Alternative to the laryngeal theory
« Reply #25 on: May 21, 2017, 12:27:39 PM »
Oh, that is really great! You should tell us some stories someday.
I'm sorry. Am I to understand that when you have a boner you like to imagine punching the shit out of Tom Bishop? That's disgusting.

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FalseProphet

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Re: Alternative to the laryngeal theory
« Reply #26 on: May 21, 2017, 01:07:30 PM »
Oh, that is really great! You should tell us some stories someday.

If you are interested, you can look into this one:

http://link.springer.com/book/10.1007%2F978-94-011-9346-7

You must click on "Black Matter - download pdf" (pp 163-258)

It is a very famous text, a version of the origin myth of the Ngaju Dayak, recorded by a German missionary. It is heavy stuff, but if you scroll to vers 77 there begins one of the loveliest Adam and Eve stories I know. The scene depicts the first male and the first female floating in their boats on the primordial water, after the Tree of Life (the origin of all existence) has been destroyed by two mythical hornbills (dry land has not been created yet). It gives you an idea of the poetical talent and imagination of these headhunters, and you may also better understand why somebody can choose to dedicate his life to preserving this poetry.

By the way, I have met more genuine flat earthers than anyone of you. I think, that is even the reason, why I came to this site.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2017, 01:42:02 PM by FalseProphet »

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Space Cowgirl

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Re: Alternative to the laryngeal theory
« Reply #27 on: May 21, 2017, 02:24:21 PM »
If you ever wanted to put their FE beliefs in the Information Repository, you are welcome to. That would be much better and more interesting than most of what ends up in there.

I will read that story, I love origin stories.
I'm sorry. Am I to understand that when you have a boner you like to imagine punching the shit out of Tom Bishop? That's disgusting.

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FlatAssembler

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Re: Alternative to the laryngeal theory
« Reply #28 on: May 22, 2017, 12:50:41 AM »
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No.
Across the languages of the world, endings for 1st person tend to contain m, and endings for 3rd person tend to contain n. That's what I was referring to.
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So?
Well, you see, there are two quite close matches. Latin -mus, Finnish -me, Latin -tis, Finnish -te. About as similar as Old German conjugation is to Latin conjugation. What you pointed out is that there are t's at the corresponding places in Latin and Old German, and used it as evidence that the conjugation systems are related. You admitted you have no explanation for how Latin t corresponds to German t (instead of the expected d), nor how is there an unexpected t in the 2nd person singular in Old German… I am sorry, but it seems like you could use the same arguments to support the notion that Finnish and Latin conjugation systems are related.
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No, the Old High German preteritum is not formed with an morphem -ed, but with -it- (weak verbs). But it is followed by personal endings, it is not at the end of the word. And in case you mean the German perfect participle, it is not formed by an ending -ed either, but -an or -t.
OK, sorry, my mistake.
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They are all quite complicated and resemble each other to an extant, that it is very very very very very unlikely that they all developed these specific features independently.
Hey, listen, it's very easy to get fooled when you try to estimate that probability. Human brains are very good at recognizing patterns, but not so good at recognizing there is no pattern at all. Hittite, for example, had two basic conjugations for the present tense. One was -mi -si -zi -weni -teni -anzi, the other one was -hi -ti -i -weni -teni -anzi. Of course, you will ignore the second one, since it obviously doesn't support your thesis about PIE having a complex conjugation system. So, on the first one, how come does PIE t once correspond to z and once to t? How come does PIE m once correspond to m and once to w? Tocharian conjugation, was, for instance, -au, -t, -am, -emo, -cer, -em. Dear God, how could that possibly come from the PIE conjugation? Classical Armenian had -m -s -y -nk -k -n. OK, now, Armenian had complicated phonological developments which I haven't really studied, so perhaps it's possible to explain. But I doubt it, like, how can PIE t once turn to y (as is, I believe I've read somewhere, the general rule), once to k and once disappear? I'd expect similar results if I look into other old IE languages. The only thing that appears to be common to most of them and isn't a well-known cross-linguistic tendency is the 2nd person singular ending containing an s.
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I understand that as a "free thinker" you like to figure out things by yourself instead of learning what other people have found out. But, for example, if you want to repair your car by yourself, wouldn't it be helpful to know what a combustion engine is?
That's true, if you know nothing better than an average person, you are better off trusting those who are smarter than you. But how do I estimate how much I know? Do I know better than 99% of people? Certainly. 99% of people have never heard of PIE, yet alone of the laryngeal theory and other things we are trying to discuss here. Do I know better than most of the linguists? Well, yes, most of the linguists I know haven't studied PIE at all. Better than some linguists who have studied PIE? Apparently, yes, some linguists have tried to explain the Croatian toponyms using their knowledge of PIE, and they made some pretty funny mistakes.
https://www.theflatearthsociety.org/forum/index.php?topic=69762.msg1883525#msg1883525
Do I know better than Sihler, Mallory, Watkins and those guys? Certainly not, and that's probably not necessary. So, yeah, for me, it's very easy both to underestimate and to overestimate my own knowledge.
And what's way more important than factual knowledge is to know what credibility to assign to what you've read. How to differentiate between pseudoscientific language comparisons and scientific language comparisons? What Initikam is doing is obviously a pseudoscience, and Grimm's law is obviously scientific. But most of the things I've read are something in-between. Perhaps the only way to differentiate between pseudoscientific language comparisons and legitimate ones is to ask yourself: are those matches anything more than what we might expect by borrowing or simply chance? And, as I've shown, the attempts to reconstruct the PIE declension, by that criteria, raise the red flag.
Fan of Stephen Wolfram.
This is my parody of the conspiracy theorists:
https://www.theflatearthsociety.org/forum/index.php?topic=71184.0

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FalseProphet

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Re: Alternative to the laryngeal theory
« Reply #29 on: May 22, 2017, 03:51:22 AM »
.....

You are a person who likes to assemble facts from the internet (not difficult), but without trying to gain any real understanding, if out of lack of patience or of ability I do not know. Sometimes you raise a good question, sometimes you have a good idea, but explaining something to you is really exhausting. I doubt if you will ever be able to differentiate science from pseudo-science.

I guess tthat is the point where people typically tell you: Sorry, I can't help you, you know better than me.